How the "Home State" is Decided
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJA) dictates how courts handle custody decisions when the parents live in two different states. The Act gives courts the authority to determine which state is considered the child's home state. The decision is based on several factors, in order of priority:
- The child must have lived with the parent in that state for at least six months.
- The significant connections your child has with other people in the state will also determine if it is his or her home.
- If the child lives in a certain state due to safety reasons, it can be considered his or her home state.
Child Support Jurisdiction
Typically the Court that determines child custody will handle child support in conjunction with the child custody case. However, in some circumstances where enforcement is an issue, the Court in the state in which the payor resides is the best option because they have a greater ability to enforce the Order - specifically, that Court can suspend the driver’s license, garnish paychecks or bank accounts, and force the sale of real or personal property.
Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), you have the right to obtain child support from your ex, no matter where he or she lives. The court will declare jurisdiction over a non-custodial parent, even if he or she lives in another state if:
- The parent lived in that state when the parents applied for the custody order.
- The whole family lived together in the state where the custodial parent now lives.
- If the court doesn't have jurisdiction over the parent, but he or she voluntarily agrees to a switch, the court will claim jurisdiction.
Please contact the Colorado family law attorneys on the Domestic Team at Feldmann Nagel Margulis for all of your family law needs.